An ounce of $200
I recently ran into a friend who had a tale of pain and woe to share. He had just been tagged with a nasty slash of those bleepity bleep shingles, running from his rib cage to his belly. He was not thrilled with this development. In fact, you could accurately describe him as miffed. Even peeved. Hell, there were some times where it would be totally fair to describe his mood as pee-owed (or, as the infamous Butthole Surfers spelled it for the title of one of their ornery little albums in the '90s—Pioughed). The point here is simply that his tale of discomfort was such that he was completely honest in confessing to me that, had he known the shingles were gonna be this much of a pain, he would have forked out the $200 for the preventative shingle vaccination booster in a freakin' heartbeat.
There's been a campaign on the idiot box lately with this very message. Those of us who had the chicken pox as a kid are all vulnerable to getting nailed with a blast of shingles. I got 'em two years ago, and my case wasn't all that bad. I was lucky, with a relatively mild patch of blisters on my side. But them blisters were touchy enough and sensitive enough to where the best plan of relief I could give myself was just to simply go shirtless, because even a T-shirt making the slightest contact on those suckers was enough to launch forth a steamin' stream of blue, blue expletives. So, yes, the shingles vaccine. Still not cheap. I know, I know. But just remember this simple reality—everybody who gets shingles would write a check on the spot for $200 to make those little bastards go away.<center>
I went to see the new James Brown biopic called Get on Up. I thought it was pretty darned good, but then again, I've read James' bio and I've got his definitive box set (the four-CD collection Star Time—$40 bucks on Amazon and easily the best 40 you'll ever spend on music), so I was pretty much up on the story of the guy's rather zesty life. I'm not so sure that anybody seeing this movie without knowing much about JB would like it as much as I did because the movie seems to count on its viewers to have at least some background on his story and songs. But I will tell you this much. The kid with the starring role, Chadwick Boseman (who first came to national attention as Jackie Robinson in the film 42) is Mr. Dynamite in this film. The dude absolutely kills it. I always leave the Oscar chat to our celluloid hero, Señor Grimm, but after seeing Boseman as James Brown, I don't think I'm out of line at all in guaranteeing that this guy is gonna get a nomination. And what really seals the deal here—dude can move! As in, he has some ants in his pants, and he needs to dance! The performance scenes in this flick are stellar, and Mr. Boseman really did his homework in gettin' down with that timelessly badass footwork of The Godfather.